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According to a survey by non-governmental organisation Ain o Salish Kendra (ASK), more than 36 per cent of the girls have been sexually harassed by their friends online. Apart from that, some 27 per cent of the girls have been sexually harassed by known adults and relatives and some 18 per cent unknown adult persons. As our dependence on online activities increased due to the pandemic, so is the harassment of women.

The government has enacted several laws to prevent cybercrime. Despite strong objections from the media stakeholders the government has enacted the Digital Security Act to curb cybercrime. But there are allegations that this law is being used more for political gains rather than to curb cybercrime.

Again, not all the incidents of online violence against women are reported. The special branch of police launched a webpage named ‘Cyber Support for Women’. So far some 17,770 women have lodged complaints through this webpage. More worrying, most of the women, who are victims of online violence, do not complain at all or they do not get the support from the parents. As a result, serious incidents like suicide also take place.

We want the proper implementation of law to prevent violence against women online. It is the liability of the government to ensure that no one is spared after committing a cybercrime. At the same time, the guardians also need to be aware about this as well. They should keep an eye on their children’s online activity, regardless of gender. Everyone should abide by the instructions given to prevent cybercrime. A strong password should be used for Facebook or any other online account, so that no one can hack their account.

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